Late June diary. Hotting up for July?
The last two weeks in June started off hot, with the sea at Langland crowded with bathers. The heat triggered a grass fire below the coast path just east of Rotherslade. The poor firemen were there in their hot and heavy clothing, while we were basking in the sunshine in our swimsuits.
The sea was getting quite clear and was shining, like the sunbathers in their factor 50. Out in the channel, there were loads of boats, fishing. Closer to the shore, canoes, paddleboards, and swimmers were commuting to Langland point. There were quite a few small jellyfish in the bay and although they are harmless, it does give you a start when you hit one mid-stroke.
Walking through Underhill Park on the way to the beach I was plagued by horseflies, and yet the group of yoga people were as poised as poppies. Honeysuckle (aptly named) was swarming with bees. Both do love a hot sunny day. It was getting burning hot on the beach and I was glad of the shade in our beach hut at Rotherslade, along with repeated swims to cool off. Dinner at the hut, as the day cooled, was a perfect end to a perfect day.
In our garden, the lobelia was searing the retina, and above the shade of our hand the apples, pears, and plums were progressing nicely. Blackbirds were pinching my cherries, and in my opinion, if it helps them sing better, then good luck to them. They were safe from our cat who was looking for shade and a breeze.
Rosebay Willow Herb was swanking in bud each side of the coast path, while in the quiet of the garden the geraniums were quietly holding their court of many colours. Lavender was reaching for the sky, and the tomatoes had set and were promising. Everywhere early privet flowers were a reminder of childhood chats across the hedge, yet the buddleia scent was a cut above the heady privet. But where are the butterflies? Certainly not on the clematis that had packed itself off for a holiday.
In the Mumbles: one side of the street was shimmering whilst the other side was standing cool and chatting in a slight breeze. At Southend the bowling green was sonorously senescent, clicking wood on wood – oh! Good shot.
Flies were lined up on the handrail where the sun was peeping through, so surely this heatwave is here to stay? But then, on the evening of Wednesday the 21st June a cold front slid southward and hit the warm humid air of the warmest June day for 40 years. In contrast to the baking temperature, a shroud of damp mist settled over Oystermouth Cemetery raising the hackles of summer, startled at this insolent vision of autumn. Although the blackberry flowers were full of themselves, the runner bean flowers were a stop light for the heat; which beat a retreat, and when the late afternoon sunshine returned it was cool. A robin, nonchalant, was on the path busily pecking, seemingly at nothing.
Wherever you turn there is life exuberant. By the time my cherries are ripe the ground is covered with a rash of stones after the birds have had a red balloon party. After a day of light rain, the daisies are kissing the ground and might need tying up. The lobelia is damp around the collar and not at all pleased. I am sitting inside with Green Sleeves floating from the radio plucking in tune with the drips shining from the leaves. The driving drizzle has put the sun out, let’s hope it will rekindle!
The Yellow Loosestrife really is a jolly one, but remember, when it is finished, summer will be over. The hydrangeas are starting to flower, and it will be early autumn before they take on the appearance of pressed flowers.
On Mumbles Hill the clouds of trees are darkening into adolescence, sadly leaving behind the freshness of their salad days.
Oh dear! The daisies in a pot are looking down upon a broken branch – it pleads from below the nest – they both are in mourning and share their tears, stinging in the morning after the wind and rain.
Although June does not exactly end in flames, the intoxicating scent of privet flowers is welcoming some very high skies, and on a calm beach talking to the lifeguards, under a benevolent sun, all is well with the world. Breathe in, relax, and stroll quietly back up to the hut for a refreshing cuppa.
Hi, hum, and all’s right with the world.
Come on July let’s get cooking!
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His poetry can be seen here: http://baitthelines.blogspot.co.uk/
His photography can be seen here: http://jimyoung14.blogspot.co.uk/
Jim has also written a biography of his childhood in the Lower Swansea Valley: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Growing-Lower-Swansea-Valley-Memoirs/dp/1530977746
Jim has a poetry Twitter account:
and a FAcebook page here: